On February 4, 2018 we will kick off our third installment of our One Book, One School initiative. This year we will be reading Slacker, a tale of a middle school boy whose ultimate life goal is to win a video game contest called Rule the World. Cameron Boxer spends every moment he is not in school, playing his video games in his basement console haven. His parents encourage him regularly to maybe find some other passions but their hand is ultimately forced when the dinner he was asked to remove from the oven, turned into a kitchen inferno as he continued to play his games. Ultimately, the fire department removes him from his daze as they break down the family’s front door to save the home. Cam’s parents then lay new ground rules that include him needing to “get involved in his school” before he will be allowed back to his console. A journey of self-discovery, often with humorous twists, commences. Slacker is different from our first two One Book, One School endeavors (Wonder and Fish is a tree) but it should be equally engaging and supportive to our goals: to continue to build a school wide culture of learning and a focus on helping students see how they can assist in the improvement of our overall school culture day by day.

In addition to One Book, One School, Mrs. Miller, teacher librarian at Jason Lee, has been coordinating our second Battle of the Books competition for students. This effort allows for teams of students to work together to read a number of selected books, sometimes everyone reading them all and sometimes splitting them up among the members. The “Battles” are undertaking in a quiz show format with students responding to questions, including buttons, buzzers, lights and all. The cool thing this year is that we will conduct our final Battles at a school wide assembly on February 1 with the two winning student teams going head to head and the victors taking on a team of teachers for one ultimate battle.

This is an exciting time for literacy efforts at our school. Our teacher teams are working diligently to increase the amount of reading, writing and discussion happening in all classrooms. Efforts like One Book, One School and The Battle of the books are just a part of the bigger puzzle.  If students are going to have doors opened up to them, then being able to read well, write well, and discuss what they have read and written is essential in our information society. Please encourage your children to be writing and reading at home. The more students do this, especially in good fit, choice books, the greater growth they will make. Middle School is an essential time to take reading skills and enjoyment to new levels, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help all our students grow each day.

Do a great month!!!